There’s a large tree in our backyard. Every time the wind blows strong, a couple of large branches tend to fall.
You know it’s happened because the entire ground shakes for a moment. You can hear the crack even when the double-pane windows are closed.
This year, I’m avoiding the shopping lines and online queues to create gifts for my family from those downed branches. Here are some of the best ideas that have come out of my shed.
1. Closet Racks
One of the branches that came down this year had long segments about the size of my arm. I cut these into three eight-foot sections and turned them into a clothes rack. The process was relatively straightforward. After stripping the bark, I sanded and sealed the wood.
2. Garden Arbor
My spouse has been asking for a garden arbor for years. The one that was in place when we first bought the property was rotting fast, so I used the downed wood to produce something new.
3. Cake Stand
When a massive chunk came down in 85 mph winds, I used my chainsaw to create small chunks that work well for display purposes. The larger pieces were turned into cake stands and food displays, while I sealed the smaller bits to become natural coasters.
My uncle earned a living by creating driftwood sculptures. His work was featured all over the world, especially when he started adding metal components to each piece. I’ve developed a similar technique in my shop to offer some artistic gifts.
I’ve also got plenty of candle holders, curtain rods, and flooring options that went out this year. My point is simple. You don’t need to embrace commercialism to show people that you care. A handmade gift, even from recovered materials, can be an amazing present.
Now, once we’re finished with Christmas, I wonder what creative gift ideas can I come up with for Easter?